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July 9, 2014

Steve Stricker


Q.テつ Did you just cruise into town today?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Yes, I did.テつ I got here about an hour before my Pro‑Am tee time.テつ I wish I had given myself a little more time.

Q.テつ But you won the Pro‑Am?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ That's right.

Q.テつ From a preparation standpoint, does that affect anything starting tomorrow morning, the fact that you know this course so well?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Yeah, I feel comfortable here, and really all I wanted to do was come in here to get a round under my belt to see the conditions and how the greens were reacting.テつ My speed on my putts today was great.テつ The course is in great shape, so there are really no tricks.テつ It's the same as it has been every year, and I needed a break yesterday.テつ I needed to kind of‑‑ I played in Zach's deal on Monday, so I needed the day off to do nothing, so that's pretty much what I did yesterday.

Q.テつ Is the rough up a little bit from past years?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Yeah, it does seem a little thicker.テつ So you're going to have to hit it in the fairway and that's going to be a little bit tougher.テつ If you stray from the fairway, that's going to make it a little more difficult if we reach the green, I think.

Q.テつ So if we get some wind and rough is up, it's not going to be 19‑ or 20‑under?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ No, fairways are generous here.テつ So if you're driving the ball, you can hit it on fairways, but if you start missing fairways, it's going to be tough.

Q.テつ How difficult was it to skip the British?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ It was a tough decision.テつ Never felt‑‑ I kept telling myself I should go, but deep down I was thinking I kind of wanted to do what I did last year and just stay home.テつ I think we're going to do something as a family again next week.テつ You know, those days are numbered.テつ It seems during the summertime, my daughter starts tennis for school the first week in August already, so this is our last couple weeks of summer before she gets into her school routine already.テつ For me, anyways.テつ After I'm going to play Bridgestone and the PGA, and when I'm back from that, she starts school tennis, so it's kind of the last couple weeks of summer break as a family.
So I would love to play the tournament.テつ It's not that I dislike the tournament or the style of golf or the course or anything like that, it's just getting there.テつ I'm not a big fan of the travel and getting over there, so that's kind of why I decided to stay.

Q.テつ Are you encouraged or discouraged by your play recently, your results that you've done in tournaments?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ I'm very encouraged the way I've played.テつ The results haven't been great, but the way I'm playing at home and the way I played today, I haven't hit it really any better.テつ My ball flight is better.テつ I'm hitting it straighter.テつ So when I look at how I play at home and when I play like a round today, I'm very encouraged.テつ It hasn't resulted into some good tournament rounds so far this year, a few, but I think it's just I'm not playing as much.テつ I got off to a slow start this year and I had a lot on my plate at home with my brother and that kind of detracted from my focus and my attention to my golf game, and rightfully so.テつ So I think there's been some things this year that have gotten in the way, and I'm starting to play a little bit more.テつ I'm playing a little bit better.テつ So hopefully put it all together here this week.

Q.テつ If you look at your stats and like you said, it's a small sampling, only eight tournaments, but they're a little off what they were last year.テつ But some people may say Steve may slipping a little bit, but you don't feel that?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ I don't.テつ My body tells me that, but I still feel like I can compete and win out here.テつ My stats are not good, but I look at some of the tournaments that I played, and I played eight tournaments.テつ In a couple of them you couldn't even hit them on the greens.テつ I know I hit less than 50% of the greens at the U.S. Open, and I know I hit probably about 50% at Doral, which was, I thought, very hard this year.テつ So, yeah, then they don't take stats at the Match Play, so there are three tournaments right there out of my eight.
So I really don't pay attention to that, just because I'm not playing a lot, but I do know there is some cause for concern.テつ I've been messing around with my irons a lot this year, too, which I've been trying to find a newer set, different shafts, because the ones I'm playing are pretty strong and stiff, so I've been messing around with that a lot which hasn't helped my iron play that much either.テつ So there have been some things.テつ I'm not worried about it.
That is the nice thing about what I'm doing.テつ I'm just trying to have fun with it still, but still take it very seriously and want to compete and try to win again.

Q.テつ Have you switched the irons?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ I have a lot this year, but I'm back to my Gamer shafts with a brand‑new head, but it's an older head that I've been playing.テつ But it's brand‑new grooves, if that makes sense.テつ It's the same head that I've been playing but new and the exact same shafts, because we took my old shafts out and put them in this new head.テつ So I'm still trying to tinker around with that.テつ I played with a whole new set last week.テつ I actually had new shafts last week.テつ I tried some (Indiscernible) shafts last week, and they were pretty good, but not really what I was looking for.テつ So I went back to everything old except for new heads.

Q.テつ I remember at The Masters you were saying you expect that little three‑yard draw with your club, and you were hitting it straight.テつ Is it back, that little draw?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ It is, because I got my old‑‑ new head, but it's old.テつ It's confusing to me, too.テつ And I got my old shaft in there, which is stiff, but I got that little bit of draw back.テつ I hit it actually pretty good.テつ Last week with the X100s, but the short irons didn't feel the greatest to me, so I kind of chickened out and didn't want to play them again this weekend, so I went back to everything old.

Q.テつ So you're going to play the Bridgestone and the PGA.テつ What about FedEx?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ If I get in there.テつ I'm right on the bubble.テつ I think I'm Mr.Bubbleman right now.

Q.テつ 125.
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Yeah, I told Finchem, my goal is to finish 125, go to the first playoff event, win it.テつ Not play the next two, and then go to the TOUR Championship, win that, and then take the $10 million home from playing 14 events, and he just shook his head (laughing).テつ So my plan so far is there.テつ It's there, yeah.

Q.テつ You've talked a lot about the Ryder Cup.テつ How much does that still mean to you, and is it going to be even possible to do considering the few events?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Yeah, I don't even know if it's possible unless I get on a run of some great golf where I win one and finish high in the major and maybe win the major that I'm going to play in, and then have a good run in the playoffs, something like that.テつ If you're playing well at the end, that always catches the eye of the captain.テつ Yeah, so it's there.テつ Obviously, I'm trying to take care of things one tournament at a time, and that's been my focus lately.

Q.テつ You know a thing or two about defending around here.テつ What type of added pressure does a guy like Jordan face this week, first time defending on the PGA TOUR?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Yeah, all eyes are on you kind of thing, and there is a little bit more pressure, but he's mature beyond his years, so he'll handle it just fine.テつ He always seems to raise his game and impress everybody at the next level, and this is another stepping stone trying to defend a tournament.テつ So, yeah, I always felt a little bit of extra pressure when you come back and played well at a course and won at the course.テつ So, yeah, he'll have a little bit of extra there, but he'll do just fine.テつ He'll handle it.

Q.テつ How much do you enjoy playing with him?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ I like him a lot.テつ I enjoy him a lot.テつ We had a great time at the Presidents Cup.テつ We teamed up well.テつ It was fun to be with him, and he has so much energy and so much positive energy, it's just fun to be around.テつ And he's a good kid.テつ That's foremost.テつ He's a good kid, and I like the way he plays.

Q.テつ Do you even see him as just a 20‑year‑old out here?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ No, he's been around a year and a half?テつ A year?テつ Just a year.テつ Yeah, a year and a half.テつ But he seems like he's been around a little longer than that, but I think that goes to show you how much composure he has and how much maturity that he has.テつ You see him as a bit older than what he actually is.

Q.テつ If you get up to just one more Ryder Cup, if you get up to 15th, 20th, if you had the good run, would you want to be a captain's pick?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Oh, yeah, yeah, for sure.テつ To be part of those teams.テつ I don't know if you'd pick a guy like me not playing that much.テつ Yeah, I don't know.テつ I haven't really talked to him all that much, and I'm so far down the list, I don't know if I'm 40th or something like that.テつ But I would need something special to happen to get on his radar, I think, which is fine.
I've had a good run with it.テつ I'm not worried about it.テつ I'm not pressing like I have in other years.テつ It would be great to be a part of it, but I'm just trying to focus on these tournaments that I'm playing in.

Q.テつ From a competitive standpoint, are you still comfortable with the scaled back schedule?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ Yeah, I am.テつ I still expect a lot when I go out there, and I still feel like I can‑‑ you know, I was right in there last week going into the last round, so I know I can get in there.テつ I'm doing really a lot of nice things at home when I play.テつ My father‑in‑law says it's as good as he's ever seen me hit it, so I'm doing a lot of good things.テつ It just hasn't translated out here too much.テつ So hopefully fun stretch this year, and hopefully I can get in there and have a chance, at least, down the stretch of one of these tournaments.

Q.テつ What is your impression of Jordan?テつ Have you hit any balls with him?
STEVE STRICKER:テつ I practiced with him at Augusta, nine holes.テつ Big, powerful, strong kid, and that's what they all seem to be now, big kids, athletic, hits it hard.テつ Yeah, he'll do fine.テつ Like I said, I only played nine holes with him.テつ He struggled a little bit the nine holes, but you can tell from the results he's had in amateur golf that he's got a bright future ahead of him.テつ Just his physical maturity is good.テつ I wish I had that type of body and length.テつ You can hit it so far and he does.テつ So he'll grow into his game and he'll learn to play better and he's got a lot of talent though.テつ It will be fun to watch him.テつ It's cool he's from Wisconsin to kind of root for him and see how he does.

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